Protecting the Basement From Radon Gas or Flood Waters

UPDATED 12/30/20

A homeowner has to look out for all kinds of hazards, from flooding waters leaking into their basement to mold growth or leaking pipes all the way to radon gas in the very air. Radon gas is naturally occurring, and not only is it hazardous to breathe in, but it is odorless and colorless, making it difficult to detect without specialized radon gas testing devices. Often, radon gas is emitted from the ground, and it can leak into a home through cracks and holes in the basement.

Should this happen, the occupants may suffer many ill effects, and tragically, a few thousand Americans lose their lives every year due to radon gas poisoning. Fortunately, steps can be taken to address a radon gas problem in the basement, and if the basement is leaky and rain water gets in, sump pump installation contractors can be hired to set up a system to draw that water back out.

What to Do When Your Basement Floods

water removal

Flooding is one of the hazards that cause a lot of damage to your house. If you haven’t experienced such flooding in the past, you should know that it is possible. Therefore, you might need to insure your house. As a result, you will be given a flood insurance check to cover the damages of flooding. People have been asking this question: How does a house flood? The answer is simple. If the house is located in a poor terrain and measures have to be put in place to divert flood water, the water would flood your house. The next thing you should ask yourself is how to fix flood damage. The answer to this depends on the extent of the damage.

Some damage might only require you to hire water removal services. Other damages might require you to repair various areas of the house, such as a damaged wall. If you have a house surrounded by flood water, it needs to be drained before it rains again. The higher the water level gets, the higher the chances it will get in your house. You do not want to have your carpet flooded with dirty water. Therefore, you have to remove the water and prevent more from accumulating around your house.

One way to prevent your basement from flooding is to install a sump pump. It may prove difficult for a homeowner to install a sump pump in their basement, and if so, they can simply look up sump pump installation contractors in their area and find a crew to hire. In fact, the homeowner can look up “sump pump installation contractor near me” and compare the websites of several different contractors to choose one to hire.

Once on the premises, the contractors will choose a good spot to install the sump pump. This will be the area in the basement where loose water tends to collect, and if there is not a GFCI (ground fault interrupter outlet) already there, then an electrician can be hired to install one. Now a hole is dug, six inches deeper and 10 inches wider than the sump itself, and three inches of gravel is placed at the hole’s bottom. Now the sump is placed in the hole.

More gravel is then added until there’s just one or two inches left in the hole exposed, and the installation expert will add pipes and pumps, not to mention a check valve. PVC pipes will then be installed so that collected water is moved away from the floor, and up and out of the house and into the open air. Finally, the pump is surrounded with gravel, and a cover is placed to cover the pump, not unlike a manhole cover or a lid. Such a pump will draw up any loose water that leaks into the house, after channeling it to the low point, and dispose of it outside the house. This is vital for any basement located in flood-prone areas.

Radon Testing Done Right

house surrounded by flood water

Loose water isn’t the only hazard that may be found in a homeowner’s basement. Radon gas can cause nausea, dizziness, and increased cancer risks in anyone who breathes it in, and many houses are at risk. In fact, an estimated one in 15 American homes has radon levels at or above the EPA’s action level, and a homeowner won’t know it until they perform some tests. How? They can visit local hardware stores and ask to buy a radon testing kit, and they can also find these kits online and have one shipped to them.

A radon testing device can be a short-term or a long-term model. A short-term model will test the air for up to 90 days, and a long-term model will perform testing beyond 90 days. If time permits, the homeowner is advised to get a long-term model, to get more accurate results later. Either way, the device should be set up and then left alone, and it will continuously collect air samples and transmit the data to a radon testing company elsewhere. Once all the testing and analysis is done, the homeowner will be notified about the results. If the radon levels are indeed at or above the EPA’s action level, then the homeowner can contact a radon mitigation company to help. They can also open all doors and windows, and set up large fans to blow all the air out of the home to recycle and refresh it. This can easily lower the radon concentration to well below the EPA’s action levels.


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